tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN June 6, 2016 10:46am-1:46pm EDT
rely on evidence when we make decisions on how to use government funds and need data driven decision-making and evidence based policy making. that's absolutely critical. we have to ensure what we do, that the activities we undertake that are data driven and evidence based help though to ensure that we are not creating a situation where we're essentially program rich but system poor. we have to think systemically, that's why -- that's the kind of systemic change inside the federal government that can move an awful lot of policy. that's about giving our thinking in a way -- moving our thinking to a place that allows us to be system rich so that the system can then begin to drive the change based on the two questions i outlined earlier. the enabling environment should focus on build and invest and
here i would highlight three quick examples of ways in which we can think about the current policy environment as good examples. let's talk about incentives and increased purchasing power for fruits and vegetables at farmers markets by low income snap beneficiaries. okay? that has a net economic benefit. for every -- there's a -- i think a nine dollar benefit for every $5 snap purchase, i believe that's the figure. folks can google that and ask if i'm wrong. when we use double up food bucks, which is a public private clash race, all of a sudden you're drawing an awful more of that produce that my neighbor left rotting in the field.
you're drawing that into the market because there's a opportunity through the farmers market program to bring that to customers that otherwise didn't exist. he's making more money and they are getting healthier -- getting access to lower cost produce. wealth health. there are a whole host of tax opportunities that we have and i'm not going to spend a lot of time there. i do think that in terms of investing, increased investment in organic crop land. i think 1% of u.s. crop land is currently an organic production and we could make investments that would accelerate the conversion to organic, which would have a net economic benefit. we've seen organic go from zero to 30 billion from 1970 to 2000.
that's just the market acting with really only one policy driver and that is the usd organic label. think about the impact that has had on a -- just on the environment alone, let alone the access people had to healthier produce. we should redirect. build, invest, redirect. by redirect, i obviously mean subsidies. speaking of brain dead incentive structures, we all know the drill there. there's i think a way that now the next administration can think about using policy to be creative about how to deal with the challenges that we face both environmentally and from a health and access perspective. if you think about u.s. let us production, something like 300,000 acres are used to produce lettuce in this country. 300,000 acres of land.
okay? why? it makes no sense to me. one of the other things we did on the farm, stoodgreen. kale and spinach and a bunch of different kinds of lettuces. think about what we would be able to do it we could take a portion of the terrestrial production, transfer it to greenhouse base production using recirculating technology, we could take the land that is currently in use and by the way represents a bio security risk. right? we could take that land out of production, and we could use it, say, for carbon sequestration. that might be a good idea. all of a sudden the farmer that owns the land has two sources of income instead of one. right? the health of the environment, wealth of the farmer. the problem is, we don't have a price on carbon. so sequestering it doesn't do you any good.
i can't get any money so why would i do it? that's a great example of a brain dead incentive system. now, you walk over the hill and people will be talking about, we can't price carbon for all kinds of different reasons. at the end of the day, it's really , really impractical for us to not do that. we could make so much money if we did. and so many people would be so much better off. sugar. i'm not saying we should treat sugar like tobacco. however, i'll leave it at that. so look, let me wrap it up and simply say that the two strategic questions that i asked, how do we address the fundamental, the underlying problem of access and affordability to create a situation that improves health and drives wealth creation.
we need to realign our incentive systems in many ways we discussed. we need to use data and evidence to do it. we need to build on what works. we need to invest and scale what works. we need to redirect away from wasteful spending into things that do work and we will then begin to have the structure in place that will allow us to move forward, to have the kind of food system that we are all hoping to achieve and with that, it's cocktail hour. [ applause ] >> i'm going to keep you for 15 more minutes because we had this great group with us, we can ask some questions. i have a couple questions but i'm also happy to defer to the group. if people want to start. if not, i'll go first. my first question is for
minell. this morning we heard from the panel in particular from dr dr. shall ayla about the gap in response to registration for science and our legislators don't necessarily follow good scientific recommendations. i think that struck me with your panel. as a personal anecdote but i have a 4-year-old in d.c. public schools. and i was very excited at the beginning of school this year because they serve breakfast, lunch and two snacks. and it's a title i school and it's free for all students and it's a wonderful way for kids who might not have had breakfast or lunch to seat that today. so i got the menu. and breakfast every day is whole-grain something but it's usually whole-grain cinnamon toast crunch. so, you know, nasty whole grains and sugar is not particularly healthy. and they're required to have a serving of fruit and vegetables at every meal but often in the morning meal they get a juice instead. and it's typically either grape juice or fruit punch, not even a
fibrous juice. so i sent an e-mail to the head of the catering, the one catering unit for the most part, and they wrote me back and said, we're following the dietary guidelines of healthy food. we give a serving of fruit and whole grains and we don't have to count sugar. that's not something we look for. and so with all that michelle obama has done to make food accessible, and to make food there in school, there's still -- something is missing with the science. i'm wondering with the next administration to hopefully continue what's being done, how do we get the legislatures to hear the science more? i followed the debate around the tomato paste. so i understand there's a lot of politics, and money, corporate incentives to these problems, but you know, how do we as lawyers and as public health advocates, how do we make the science really matter? >> so that's a great question. and i have a 5-year-old in public schools, and sometimes
she does lunch, and she is very gleefully tells me she gets chocolate milk. which i just, it's like nails on a chalkboard. but, so i think that there's still a lot more that could be done. but a lot has been done in terms of the child nutrition act. and we definitely need to celebrate what has been done. i think that there are sort of two answers your question. the action and the healthy kids act and all of the areas we looked at in terms of evidence based it probably has one of the strongest evidence bases. so you can, because a lot of folks, cdc folks, hhs, nih, have been looking at how the rollout of nutrition regulations have gone, it's actually one of the places where
we can really show that kids' health has improved with these regulations even though they're not perfect. and that's why i and experts looking on this issue feel it's really important that we do not roll back those standards. which is what is being debated at the moment. i think public health and the school system folks who can get better at explaining the benefits and explaining and encouraging local school districts to go beyond what's required in the federal regulations if they want to do that. so you sending an e-mail to your school's food services director is fantastic. we need to get more parents, ptas, wellness policy council parents, involved in really looking at what their kids are eating, and encouraging local school districts to strengthen what's being offered, i think go back to dr. angle's panel, the
federal government can do an awful lot, but really i think the best role for the federal government is setting a baseline in the context of nutrition standards, and then encouraging places like new york city and places all across the country to go further, than the baseline. and i think this is a case where that could definitely happen. >> thanks. okay we have some more questions. i'm going to throw out one more and then we will go to the audience. this is a double part question for mike and marland. when you look at some of the ways that workers are treated, the way they're compensated, the way that they're denied healthcare, it's very sobering and it's really depressing. and as a consumer, it's almost impossible to go to the grocery store, you don't know what you're buying. or you don't know who picked it. you don't know how it got there. and the legal structure, around worker compensation laws, worker
safety laws are particularly poor as you mentioned for farm workers. and so, understanding that those laws need to be -- that is one area where the law could really be used in regard to public health and be used to strengthen our food system. can you -- mike, can you speak to, you know, what a goal can be in the first say 1 00 days in office for the next president in terms of how do you start the conversation, and marland, as an employer, who as you talked about, you know, you have very low potential profit margins, depending on what you're producing, let's say as an apple picker, what do you do? when you are really in a hard pressed position to treat workers equitably. so what do you do? >> so i think that's a great question and thinking of in terms of the next administration and what are those actionable
things specifically in this area and the next hundred days that they can pull a lever on or at least start a conversation on question mark i won't pretend to know the specific regulations that should be expanded or drawn back but one of the most important things is talking to the transition team of an administration or the next administration once they take office in showing the breadth of support and strength and legal case of course but also the numbers behind whatever policy or whatever certain standards you are trying to promote to get these things whether it's some sort of label on a supermarket shelf that gives people a good indication, but really making sure you're communicating with the administration in showing the numbers and what are the distinct benefits and points on the board administration could get from taking action in the first 100 days in office? new administrations are clearly slammed with 1 billion different requests from all different
sorts of sectors on things to do within the first 100 days so demonstrating that these are actionable items that can be done simply and there's a lot of support behind them is really critical. >> the short answer to your question is you can't -- out of business. not going to happen. why? because, and this is the simple, cold, brutal, factual deal. okay. the american people are utterly unwilling to pay the cost of food that it would take to pay the people that produce it. they're just not going to pay it. they won't. they'll say they will but they're lying. in order for me to stay in business, you saw the 40 cents a deal right that i was talking about? that's why i put that out there.
>> right. if i'm getting 40 cents for that -- for that box, what do you suppose the guy who is hanging off the ladder is getting? >> right, right. >> okay? >> so let me now quadruple your shopping bill. who's happy? guess what happens? so i would love to tell you that there is -- that there's like a magical policy solution. and when people tell you that, it's crap. it's just not true. the american people are unwilling to pay the freight. and until they are, nothing will change. >> can i ask, this is kind of a naive question, but i've been thinking about my favorite pet policy, the hhs procurement guidelines, and it occurred to me that there are standards in there related to organic produce and animal welfare, and local sources, but there's not actually anything in there about the conditions, working conditions of the folks that are working on the farms that are providing the food.
so would it be possible hypothetically to include something like that in those procurement guidelines and what kind of impact might that have. >> yes. and little or none. >> okay. >> because the -- what it would take to drive compliance would be very, very expensive. and i doubt the appropriators would pony up for it. i think it's a good and important valuable idea . i think we do need to look and understand the workforce development opportunities that actually exist in our food system and this is i think the principle area of -- there's a great opportunity for innovation. i think that there's actually a workforce development bonanza if we really think about this right. and as i said earlier, get our incentives structured properly.
but under the current regime, i don't see a path forward. >> thanks. okay. we had a couple of questions. >> just to add to that discussion, the truth is we have an economy that is dependent upon the u.s. consumer spending the smallest percent of their income on food ever in history, and we are used to a disposable income that buys all these products that drives the rest of the economy. and so even if we were willing to spend more on food, the economy has to be willing to accept less money for other goods. but i love the discussion. about farm labor. and i think that's a complicated issue that i think is even more, complicated looking at the politics between liberals and conservatives. and for example, this morning they were right in saying that the science that eating gmos is safe is pretty clear.
but the science on whether or not gmos is safe to grow, and is safe for the exposure of farm workers or the environment or the risk associated with monocultures i think is far less clear. so it is more complex and just to ask a question, there was a recent study that showed that conservative group donations towards most sectors of the food trukz system certainly animals, poultry, beef, with few exceptions, is largely conservative. it's almost 85% to 100% conservative, and yet these are the same groups that seem to resist, immigration reform for the workers that we need for this kind of labor. and i'm just not sure i understand the disconnect. and i'm sure you can explain it. >> wait, so you're asking me --
to fill the distance between ted cruz and donald trump? is that what i'm supposed to do? >> i thought it was to you. >> i don't expect an answer but it's bizarre. >> i think that again, how can we take -- how can we take some of the bleeding edge innovation in our food system, and there's a lot of it. we've seen the rush of venture capital and in some degree private equity to add tech but what sits behind that is an innovation ecosystem that is very immature relative to other elements of our technology, other elements of the technology sector. but i do think that the nexus of technology and agricultural practice give us a path forward to deal with the labor market conundrum that we face right now. imagine a situation where
lettuce is produced in greenhouses harvested by robots delivered by drones. that's not crazy. that's amazon. right? but what are the workforce development consequences of that if you're taking lettuce pickers out of the field and they're wearing lab coats in a bee yo secure environment. all of a sudden you have a very, very different picture of what a farm worker looks like. and hopefully how they're compensated. so i don't want to be the force of doom and gloom here entirely. but i do want to be the force of abundant paranoia and reality. but not doom and gloom. there is, i think, there are some leading-edge opportunities and we should push really, really hard and across government to incent as much innovation in those areas as possible and to create that enabling environment that i've talked about. >> john? >> hi, sean bland, i had two quick questions.
i really thought this was a great discussion to end on. the first question is we talked about coordination and collaboration, but between federal agencies, between different some state, federal and local level, and also between the private, and the public sector. i like this discussion because i think we kind of got into some of the community driven advocacy. i was wondering if you could maybe discuss some other ways in which we can kind of engage community leadership on kind of food, and nutrition, and/or other successful examples of community-led advocacy. and then the other question has to do with the kind of the transition team and i think we focused a lot on that but not so much like this moment right now where we can kind of, you know, get the candidates on the record, on very specific kind of issues. and is there like one or two issues that like right now, it's important for us to get the presidential candidates, and/or congressional candidates on the record on?
>> that is a lot. i will talk about things really quickly because i am aware we are out of time. i would say a policy vehicle to look at in terms of getting community involvement in the system is food policy councils. many communities have them, some states have them, as well. if you are interested in food systems, getting involved in a local food council policy, or starting one, is a great way to do that. the second example both of us were going to talk about but we didn't, i will flag it as a local example, but i think it is an example like the ones that doctor angle talked about that could be elevated to state, or federal or some form of another, is minneapolis' staple food ordinance. the city of minneapolis passed an ordinance, the only one of its kind, that requires any
retail outlet classified as a grocery store and this includes gas stations, dollar stores, it requires them to stock a certain amount of staple foods, and the staple foods track the wic food basket. they haven't done this in isolation. they've been laying the groundwork for this for many, many, many years. the first version of the ordinance got passed in 2011 and then it got updated. they provide a lot of technical assistance through the local health department through store owners particularly in underserved communities. those store owners are working on very small margins so it's really important for them to know how to store produce, promote produce, and they've built that into their program. so stop there. >> building off that last year there was a report called fixing food and it looked at five major cities, one of them was minneapolis and highlighted that example. but there are communities across the country, small cities, large cities, doing incredibly unique, different things in the food
space to bring healthier foods to people kind of across a range of spectrums. so there's a lot of activity in the space, but it's really about how do you translate that to the federal level, would that work? or how do you bring those voices of those people together with other people in communities around them? i think the appetite in different communities is there. it is really more about bringing them together. coordinating, and how do you work together with them. to the second point about the transition team, i think and the question was, is there one or two issues to get different candidates on the record right now. i think i, speaking on behalf of the union i would love to see every single food and agricultural related issue, have them on the record. kind of at the beginning of the election season there's been some mention of cornet knoll, some mention of sugarcane. so really anything is better
than nothing in terms of food and agriculture space. and plate of the union is going to be doing a lot of work throughout the remainder of the year in key states to try to make sure that candidates do get on the record on these issues. but healthy affordable food seems like a great place to start since there's so much agreement on that issue. how do we do that and how do we get them on the rord is a good place to go? >> to answer the record question most specifically i'll just put my little chief of staff hat on and i would say, anything you get the candidates on the record saying now doesn't really amount to a hill of beans. doesn't really matter. fine. oh, we changed our minds. whatever. the way to be effective right now at this point in the cycle is to think down ballot, and to go to folks in a very quantifiable way and demonstrate to them where the constituencies of interest are that matter to them. so if i'm a member, or if i'm a city council person, because i think the food policy council at the local and state, but mostly
more at the local level i think is very, very powerful organizing tool to bring people into the process at literally the retail level. that has a way of trickling up quickly in the political process. when you have super delegates on the democratic side going to the convention, talking about the fact that that their constituents -- because they're mayors, right? so when superdelegates show up, it's like oh, lord i had like 1,000 people come yelling to me about blah, blah, blah, i didn't know anything about it. yeah, me too, the same thing happened. that's how you move the process. now. >> all right. with that, please join me in thanking our panel. [ applause ] just on behalf of the institute i want to thank all of you for being here and participating. and hope to see you soon.
coming up this afternoon, u.s. national security adviser susan rice addresses guests at the annual american jewish committee global forum in washington, d.c. we'll bring it to you live, 1:45 p.m. eastern, here on c-span3. we are going public, we'll be watched by our friends and by people across the country and i would hope as i said before that, the senate may change. it's not an institution, but may become a more efficient body because of televised proceedings. >> the proceedings of the united states senate are being broadcast to the nation on television for the first time. not that we have operated in secret until now, millions of americans have sat in the galleries, and observed senate
debates during their visits to washington. but today, they can witness the proceedings in their own homes. >> and in effect the senate floor has been a kind of a stage. the senators have been acting on that stage. the audience is in the galleries. and by our action today, we haven't really fundamentally altered that situation. we've simply enlarged the galleries. we have pushed out the walls to include all of the american people who wish to watch. >> commemorating 30 years of coverage of the u.s. senate on c-span2 wp. attorney howard barbman is the founder and editor of the blog called how appealing which focuses on litigation and federal appellate courts. he talked to students at the emory university law school about academic freedom on university campuses in january. this is about an hour and 15 minutes.
[ applause ] >> thank you, curtis. i'm sasha volokh, pro-fusser here, and i am here to introduce howard bashman. howard bashman is a national known appellate lawyer who based in philadelphia and mainly practices before the third circuit. in 2003 american lawyer media named him one of pennsylvania's top 40 lawyers under age 40 on the strength of his appellate litigation practice. now, the senior judge of the third circuit has a book called "winning on appeal" where there are many judges and a handful of appellate lawyers who give their advice about how to write the best possible appellate brief and win your appellate case.
and howard bashman is one of the few appellate lawyers who is honored to people in that book. howard bashman went to college in columbia. but more important for us he is a 1989 kwrad out of emery law school. and he was managing editor of emery law school and got the school of law merit scholarship. after that howard clerked for two years for judge william hutchinson on the third circuit. another thing that is important about howard bashman is he is the founder of the block "how appealing" which is all about the business of the appeal -- of the federal appeals courts around this country. and i remember back in 2002, i am one of the bloggers on a blog called the volokh conspiracy which started up on april 10th, 2002, and that was the very beginning of of the public policy and legal affairs blog. a popular blog instaypundit had
been up and running for several months. it was started in august of 2001. volokh conspiracy april 10 th 2002. how appealing started on may 6th, 2002, with an opening sentence that went something like, hello and welcome to the first day of the nation's first appellate blog. and how appealing has always been one of the very best places to go to get news on what is going on in the appellate court and find out the most exciting appellate cases that have been coming down and you all of these similar things. ever since 2002 howard has been useful to me and my career, and we have known each other since. now howard bashman will talk to us about free speech on university campuses. [ applause ]
>> thank you sasha for that very generous direction. and for the record, it was, among other things, thanks to a link from the volokh conspiracy to my blog in its very early existence that my blog began to develop a readership that today supposedly includes even some u.s. supreme court justices who are willing to admit to it. themselves on c-span that they read my blog every day, which is an awe-inspiring thing to have someone say about it. but they also say they reed the volokh conspiracy for the record, as well. thanks to the emory university school of law and its federalist society student chapter for allowing me to be here to deliver these remarks. i have been fortunate to deliver remarks to a range of federalist societies, student chapters from the harvard law school chapter to the thomas m. cooley law school chapter in lansing, michigan, and many more in between.
but it is a special honor to come home to my alma mater. i was hoping for warmer weather, but i am happy to be here anyway. turning to the topic of my remarks today, let me begin with some good news and some bad news for you, regardless of where you stand on the issue of free speech on campus, and student speech codes. in 2016 this year, for the first time ever since the organization f.i.r.e., which stands for foundation for individual rights in education, an individual headquartered in philadelphia, pa. the number of college campuses that have received that organization's most negative anti-free speech rating has dipped below 50% to 49.3%. that marks to the present time
eight years during which the number of colleges and universities that have been rated has continued to decrease. eight years ago, that number stood at 75%. lest you worry, however, emory university remains part of the 49.3% receiving f.i.r.e. most regular five free speech rating. now if you oppose those restrictions on free speech, before you feel too happy about the fact that the trend has been heading in a positive direction, you should keep in mind that there are other statistics that give rise to a reason for great concern. last october an organization at yale reported on the result of a survey of college students, which found that 51% of college favored campus free speech codes. and 72% favored bringing disciplinary action against students or faculty members who
use offensive language. similarly, in november of last year, the pew research center, another very highly regarded polling organization reported that 40% of people in the millennial age group from 18 to 34 believe that government should be able to punish offensive speech. that was the largest percentage of any of the generational groups surveyed. now, of course, in recent months campus protests and news coverage have placed these issues very much into the spotlight of public attention. how have we gotten to this point? where instead of clamoring for a robust and open exchange of ideas, and unfettered free speech, students are instead calling for safe spaces and trigger warnings and demanding that so-called
microaggressions, and cultural appropriation be avoided. indeed, some universities, including a number of public institutions, have created so-called free-speech zones, which happened to be conveniently located very far away from where anyone else ever happens to be. so that ordinary students who might be offended or have their feelings hurt by the free expression of their fellow students don't have to hear or see what's going on. now, i appreciate as much as anyone the need to be considerate of one's fellow human beings and more to the point fellow students. and it is also important in educational institution to act -- have an atmosphere where people can learn. an atmosphere conducive to learning is, of course, very important.
at the same time however, a central part of the liberal 5r9s experience, maybe the central part, is being exposed to new and perhaps even unpleasant ideas. and broadening one's understanding of others as a result. prohibiting the discussion of unpleasant ideas does not cause those unpleasant ideas to cease to exist. instead, they are pushed beneath the surface where perhaps they will bubble back up in even more unpleasant ways than if they are the subject of discussion. again, how do we get to where we are today in the current state of campus free speech and student spoech speech codes? in the view of many part of it and perhaps in large measure is the fact that children today are indoctrinated into this culture of political correctness before they even arrive at college.
there's what's known as the bubble wrap generation. you bubble wrap something because you do not want to get hurt. helicopter parents who fly in to protect their children from any possible offense that could arise. and that insulates children from the otherwise rough-and-tumble world of controversial ideas that exist out in real society. morever, instead of colleges being run by faculty members as they had been many years ago now, we have the atmosphere where, in fact, most colleges are run by what's called the bureaucratic class. which happens to be administrators with less understanding and appreciation of the value of free speech. and, not surprisingly, lawyers, perhaps, are partially to blame. and i regret to say that today. there is what is known as the risk management movement which has arisen and earns money for
itself by giving advice to the university administrators about how to avoid lawsuits, and the concern is that more lawsuits would be brought by students in the absence of these free speech codes if free speech was freely allowed, than are being brought as a consequence of having these free speech restrictions. now aside from the troubling news that today's young people do not appreciate the value of their first amendment rights as much as earlier generations have, there has also been a notable political shift in society. on the one side you have perhaps conservatives and libertarians, and then very extreme left consisting of the american civil liberties union, which continues to speak out for unfettered college free-speech rights.
but many so-called liberals, unfortunately, are more than ready to trade the rights to campus free speech for a smiley faced world. where at the expense of trying to keep everyone happy, unpopular ideas are forced underground, instead of being considered and debated. even the son of seventh circuit judge richard a pozner and i'm speaking of university of chicago law professor eric pozner, has become a proponent of campus free speech restrictions. according to pro-fezzer pozner, today's college students are too immature. free speech can still occur off campus if it can't occur on campus. and in a bit of the pozner family's trade mark law and economics analysis, students can take into account an institution's free speech
availability in deciding where to go to college, if that is important to that student. now as the father of a 20-year-old son myself, i think that professor pozner overstates the immaturity problem. he also i believe does not have a firm grasp on how competitive today's college admissions process is. in my experience, evaluating a school's free speech rating and free speech policies tends to be very low on the list of things that people consider in deciding where they wish to go to school. and one of professor fozner's other suggestions is that you can go to a state university or public college as opposed to a private college if free speech really matters to you. but that dobs seem to be the answer but if you look at the f.i.r.e. organization statistics
public institutions aren't much better at recognizing free speech rights than are private institutions. it's interesting to note that over 150 years ago british political philosopher john stewart mill in his famous work titled "on liberty" offered four reasons why one should favor robust free speech rights. those four reasons resonate as much to me today as i hope they resonate to people at the time that essay was written. the first reason is that an opinion compelled to silence could, in fact be true. and to deny that fact assumes our own infalability which should not be assumed. secondly in mills' point of view, even an ee reasonious viewpoint could contain a portion of the truth. just as a prevailing opinion is
rarely or never entirely true itself. the third and fourth reasons are also very important. the third reason is that if an opinion is not challenged and does not need to be defended then people will hold those opinions without appreciating the reasons why they are viewed to be true. and fourth, he was concerned that unchallenged opinions could ultimately turn into what he described as dogma, meaning that they would be at risk of perhaps being devalued or discarded themselves because people didn't appreciate why they ever existed in the first place. although mill originally published his "on liberty" essay in 1859 that essay still has much to teach us today. with regard to offensive or unpopular speech a university of all places can and should provide the atmosphere where the
reaction to such speech is not to silence or punish the speaker. but rather to respond with speech to the opposite effect. and to allow the speaker and listeners to hear and understand the competing viewpoints so that they can decide for themselves what is true and what should be believed. before turning to the future it is necessary to say just one more thing about how we got to where we are today. the aclu and some of its on line materials offers a question and answer in which its defense of campus free-speech rights challenge the questions in the answer the aclu supplies and what the aclu thought was worthwhile to point out was that this free speech rights that were enjoyed by the civil rights protesters in the 1950s, and the anti-war protesters of the 1960s
were earned defending the unpopular free speech rights of organizations in prior decades. my point is that prevailing political sentiments that exist today can and will change over time. as we know there's a presidential election coming up and that could have great change in the popular view of what free-speech rights should be available. unless college students can begin to appreciate the value of robust free speech rights, they and society at large are at risk of a day in the not too distant future where government could succeed in taking away the rights without anyone complaining or even noticing. that is why i hope that over time young people can begin again to value their free-speech
rights and recognize that the cost of being offended from time to time by the expressions of others is a small price to pay for the rights of liberty and freedom that have produced the society in which we live today. thank you. [ applause ] >> thanks howard. i just have a couple of comments. i'm not in fundamental disagreement with anything you said, just one data point which you and i are both interested in as alumni or professors at emory law school is i have been here for now seven years and i'm glad to say that at least in the law school and the law school at emory like many schools were fairly insulated and we don't
often go across the street. but at least at the law school i have always felt that free speech and open expression rights have been very robust. admittedly i don't have my finger in everything that goes on but being involved with the federalist society that is one candidate where someone wanted to shut anyone down the federalist society would have been a good candidate. i don't think anyone has ever tried to shut us down. in fact, here's one incident that happened a few years ago. there is an organization that used to be called the alliance defense fund. now it's called the alliance defending freedom. they are socially conservative organization they have done a lot of things and one thing that they have done is they have taken a strong position against gay marriage, and then in addition but totally separate they also do litigation on religious freedom issues. and we had a person, we had a person come from adf, and he was going to talk about a religious
freedom case that he had litigated. it was a second circuit case maybe you've heard of it called bronx household of faith. it was basically in new york, they have all of these public schools, and then they're empty during the weekends, and there was a policy of making them available for outside organizations to use as their meeting spaces but they decided that they didn't want any churches using the schools during nonbusiness hours, and adf sued on free exercise grounds, you can't discriminate against religious people. and i they are absolutely right in that case, and i personally very much pro-gay marriage so i don't agree with what they do in their gay marriage side but on their religionsous freedom litigation side i think they do excellent work. i was very happy to have them come and talk about the case. now a number of students found out that adf was coming and got upset because of their gay
marriage work, and what ended up happening, was i think, an ideal resolution of the issue. which is that there were students from lgbt organization outlaw and they had a table where they were handing out leaflets, explaining the position of adf. they came to our meeting with rainbow pins or rainbow shirts or whatever. they were ready to challenge the speaker if he said anything about gay marriage which he didn't because the talk was not even about that and a good time was had by all. now admittedly this is not a great example because a greater example would be what if you wanted to speak out against gay marriage and then what would have happened and the answer is i don't know but i personally subjectively was never in doubt that we would have been allowed to go forward and the dean would have supported us and we would still have had a heated but
civil discussion which is exactly the way that these things -- the way that these things ought to happen. you mentioned the lawyer culture and risk management and one interesting thing that has happened recently, i have a number of friends who are on the faculty at harvard law school and so just by reading their facebook posts i have become aware. there was a documentary called a hunting ground which was about rape and sexual assault on campus. and there were a number of professors that spoke out and said this documentary, which took a position very strongly in favor of the victims of rape and sexual assault, but had a number of misstatements and misleading things. and the makers of the documentary had a statement which i think was published in "the harvard crimson" where they
said the fact that these professors were speaking out against the truth and reliability of the movie created a hostile environment. now a naive person might think a hostile environment just means people are mad. no. the words hostile environment, that's like the nuclear option, because those are the magic trigger words related to harassment law. and so if you can show that in your workplace or wherever, there's a hostile environment, and if you can show that in court, then that could lead to damages for the workplace, or the university, or whatever. the idea that people could say well, you know, rape and sexual assault are really bad but still we have to correct misstatements. we have to care about due process for accused parties and so on. the idea that, of course, people can disagree on where to draw the line between helping victims, and protecting due process rights, so there can be a debate about where to draw the line, universities are all about
that sort of debate. the idea that people would turn to using the law to either ban or, in this case, severely disincentivize by means of damages judgments, that, i think, is -- that's antithetical to free speech and open expression values, and that is driven by -- that is driven by legal developments. that's driven by harassment law, which even outside of universities is in substantial tension with the first amendment, but, it's the sort of thing where it encourages universities, especially private universities that can get away with it more easily, it encourages universities to just take a cya attitude, and for the sake of avoiding damages judgments, just to, you know,
adopt the least offensive to everybody perspective. so i think the lawyer culture of really can potentially play a strong role in cutting down on speech much like workplace harassment law even outside of universities. if you are the sort of private employer who you don't really care if your employees around the water cooler tell jokes or put little memes or whatever hanging around their workplace, you don't really care about that. but now if somebody in your workplace can say hostile work environment, all of a sudden that encourages employers to adopt policies where they say nope, no jokes, no self-expression in the workplace, and so on. and that's very much driven by the need to protect yourself from damages judgments. one other thing is i agree with
you and that you identified modern-day defenders of free speech on campus with on the one hand federalist society types and some libertarians and on the other hand strong bastions of the aclu. this is absolutely not a left-right issue. this is a liberal and classical liberal, liberal and classic liberal issue so the liberal left and the liberal right and libertarians are very much the air's of the free speech open expression idea of the john stuart mill idea on liberty. on the other hand those parties who want to cut down on speech are both on the left, and on the right, and i would say the authoritarian left, and the authoritarian right. not just on the grounds that oh, wouldn't it be nice if we
lived in a bubble and could be not offended because it makes us feel bad. but i would say on the left for example, it's actually a militant view that critiques free speech on the ground that it contributes to power imbalances, institutionalized races, institutionalized sexism, and actually sees open expression as an affirmative harm to be combatted, the sort of thing that you can read about if you hang out on tumblr, for example. so that's an element of the last left that i think is incorrect even to call liberal. when we say we often have we often casually call people on the right conservatives, and people on the left liberals. and, you know, conservative as a synonym for people on the right might be problematic in its own ways, but for the purposes of what i'm saying here, calling people on the left liberals is extremely misleading because the left has always been divided
among the liberal left and the anti-liberal left. and the anti-liberal left for example has included marxists and other types it of revolutionary communists and so on. but also many people in the social justice movement, there are people in the social justice movement who can be called liberal and who actually believe in rights, including free speech but also want to combat injustices. there many people on the left in the social justice movement who it is actually correct to call anti-liberal and even they would agree that they actually reject fundamental tenets of liberalism. so the opponents of free speech on campuses are both the authoritarian right and the authoritarian left and the defenders are the liberal right and libertarians and the liberal left. so it's absolutely not a left/right issue. the last thing i wanted to talk about is public versus private universities.
this is something where as a libertarian i think a proper way of thinking about free speech on campuses is that government universities if indeed there are government universities but given there are government universities they are state actors and absolutely need to be subject to the first amendment and need to have the broadest possible free-speech protections. private universities are just private organizations and private organizations should be able to have whatever sort of groups, should be able to have whatever sorts of rules they like. so we could all be like byu, for example. there would be nothing morally wrong with that. you could just choose to have a university that says, we affiliate with this particular religion, and we exist as a space for people to talk about their religion within the parameters of the religion and if you're going to say the religion is false, you have the right to do it but not on our property, and so we're not going
to accept you or you will agree when we accept that if you do that we can kick you out. that's fine. and even from a nonreligious perspective you could imagine that there is the university that allies itself with the social justice movement, or with the inoffensiveness movement and says we are a safe space for everything and you are entitled when you come here to be in a bubble where all of your ideas are merely reinforced or something. there's nothing morally wrong with that. and so, you know, that was sort of -- that was a silly example. but i think that you could have -- you could have a university that says we believe in free speech, but it always has to be done in a way that is inoffensive to people. i think a lot of private universities do that. and i don't think there's anything morally wrong with that. i think the position of fire, the foundation for individual rights in education, their position is public universities, first amendment. you violate that we sue you. private universities, you don't
have to do that. and if you're up front about, we're not going to touch you. because you don't make any claim to be pro-free speech. but to the extent that you claim that you support those ideas. to the extent that you announce on your website and in your promotional materials that we sign onto the liberal idea of a university, and robust debate, and so on, you are trading on the value of open expression. and in that case, if you violate that by shutting down a group that wants to invite somebody who speaks against affirmative action or against islam or whatever, if you -- if you shut these people down and thereby you violate the commitments that you yourself made, we're not going to sue you. but it's okay for us to shame you. it's appropriate to shame private universities insofar as they have committed themselves to that ideal at a time but with the understanding that fire does
not say anything bad about byu because byu has just not made any claims that it is in that universe. on the other hand emory does make claims to be in that universe, so it is appropriate. do you have any views on that? >> thank you for those excellent and thought-provoking comments. just a very few points about that. i had a feeling given where we both start in our outlook that our views on this would not be that divergent and so i'm not surprised that they haven't been. but it is important to keep in mind that there have been universities where speakers have been disinvited because their views were deemed unpopular and these are people for example columnist george f. will was disinvited from talking at a university because of a back lash that word of his invitation triggered, and he's someone who is published in "the washington
post," the same fine publication that hosts the volokh conspiracy, and so he can't be that bad, i guess. but you speak of emory as having a policy towards invited speakers and i believe that the f.i.r.e. organization's rating of emery is very strong in allowing speakers to come to campus without any evaluation of whether there views are popular or unpopular. and in fact the reason for emory's so-called red light rating is other things including harassment codes and things along those lines. but of course if people want to see what the reasons are you can just look at the f.i.r.e.'s website and go to the emory page, and then to talk last about the lawyer culture. in a way that at least to me as a practicing attorney, that tends to be very disappointing
that that's either an explanation or an excuse for why these campus anti-speech policies exist, because you would hope that lawyers, of all people, would appreciate the fact that there is a value towards having free speech, and one of the things that you appreciate early and often out there as a practicing attorney is that, you know, while there might be some correct answers as to legal questions in law school, when you're out there in the real world, you might have a case that is 100% justified by existing law and there is no way that anyone with a straight face could argue against you but lo and behold the other side has a lawyer whose job it is to try to convince the judge that the judge should rule in favor of that side.
part of the legal culture is due to the adversarial system at least, involves representing positions where there might not be necessarily any support in the law, but you would hope that it be lawyers who were to that degree responsible for suggesting and having the implementation of policies that are just so risk averse that students on campus aren't allowed to speak their minds with all of the negative consequences that flow from it. >> actually, even though emory has a red light from f.i.r.e., and i think you're right, some of that might relate to sexual harassment stuff, and so that's different, but one place where i give them a lot of credit is that just like one or two years ago, the university senate here at emory adopted a so-called
respect for open expression policy. and the -- this policy is administered by a committee on open expression. i actually sit i actually sit on that committee but i'm not here to speak as part of that committee. i'm just here as me. you can actually go read it. google emory open respect policy. and that policy on its face takes a very pro-free speech position. it says in the overview, i will read here, emory university is committed to an environment where the open expression of e ideas and open vigorous debate and speech are valued, promoted, and encouraged. this policy reaffirms emory's unwavering commitment to supporting courageous inquiry through dissent and protest, dot, dot, dot, the university is
fundamentally committed to open expression and the vigorous discussion and debate upon which the advancement of its multifaceted debate begins. now the next sentence has a little bit of the other stuff. civility and mutual respect are core values in our community. this is the sort of language when you see that language you're going to say, oh, this is one of those private universities that say we agree with free speech and we also agree with not offending anybody. but, no, it says here, civility and mutual respect are core values and we ask all members of the community to weigh these carefully when exercising their fundamental right to open expression, which seems awesome to me. who disagrees with civility and mutual respect? i agree. they don't say that it trumps open expression. it says please consider these when exercising your right to open expression. and so i think if properly interpreted, there are ambiguities, but when properly
interpreted, the emory open expression policy takes a very pro-free expression position. in particular there's language in the policy that, in my reading incorporates the free speech clause of the first amendment. so even though as a private university emory is not a state actor and is not bound by the first amendment but emory chooses to subject itself to the first amendment and goes even further because the first amendment only protect you against state actors. if we were at uga, for example, and if we had an event which was disrupted by an individual student, student would not be a state actor. on the other hand, this policy applies to all members of the community which includes students and so a student violates the open expression policy by disrupting an eand, moreover, public universities have to tolerate what goes on but they don't have any
obligations of affirmative support for protest or dissent but there are other areas where they express viewpoint and content neutrality. no signs or displays can be disapproved because of their content and so on. of course a lot depends on how this respect policy is administered over the coming years. i'm hopeful with a strong policy like this we can get our fire numbers and get into green light territory. i give the emory university senate and the administrators who made this happen huge credit for taking the effort to adopt a policy like this rather than just rolling over whenever some group makes demands and empowering an independent
committee like the committee for open expression to have the kind of tunnel vision to interpret and -- to interpret and apply that policy. so recently, as part of the whole student activism movement at yale and other places, we've had our own student activism, also. we had a group of students and i believe from their demands they just signed themselves black students at emory. maybe that's the name of an organization of theirs or maybe that's just how they choose to call themselves, but they had a number of demands. and many of them are not related to open expression, for example, minority representation in faculty staff students or psychological counseling and things like that. there were a number of things that -- there were a number of things that do seem to be in substantial tension.
they suggested a line item in teacher evaluations, did this teacher commit any micro aggressions and called for limiting access to an anonymous social app where people posted comments they found offensive and so on. now that student activist says something, that does not mean the university is doing anything about it, and the university has, in fact, not rolled over and accepted all of these but there's a dialogue going on and, of course, we'll have to see in the coming months or so -- in the coming months or so what happens. i'm guardedly optimistic to the extent there's merit in some of these demands but freedom of expression values which would be illegal at a public university
and it would be recognized that they also violate the open expression policy here which we have voluntarily accepted and, by the way, this policy says there's language right in the overview that this policy is paramount to every other policy at the university. so literally there is no other policy at the university we can say trumps this unless this policy itself has an exception, the policy says you can't violate federal, state or local law, you can't destroy property, et cetera, et cetera, this policy is paramount to every other one at emory. >> and without being antagonistic to my gracious host, it's important to see how that plays out in the future
because, as you said, it's still being -- it's still under consideration, those demands and how they will be addressed. and certainly the free speech rights of those protesters i would be equally arguing in favor of, and so i don't have any problem with that type of expression either. it's just that where they cut back -- where the result of it is to cut back on the free expression rights of others that i begin to become very seriously concerned. >> we're glad to take questions from the audience. we have a microphone right here and right there in the aisles. >> please come up to the microphone if you don't mind. >> you talk specifically about lawyer culture in your opinion is like sort of -- i'm not going to say trouncing but hindering free speech. in your opinion is this there this shift some may be more pc
and some cultures are almost anti-pc very much still like the '40s or '50s not even the idea. do you think as our generation, the millennials, the government should be able to monitor free speech, as we go into the world, we're not put in bubbles and you have to sometimes deal with things that are unpleasant. do you think you'll see an acceptance back into this idea that, well, you know, maybe it's not so bad if someone disagrees with me. i'm an adult and can walk away. >> my honest answer is it's too soon to predict what affects the current viewpoints will have. as your question itself correctly assumes, some people may go right into areas of business culture where free expression, again, is tightly
regulated because of the type of work they do. and so those people may never appreciate the rights that they should have been enjoying as a result of not having been expose ed to them earlier in life or going tlou the college experience as kind of a grizzled veteran it's easy to talk about how when i was in college at clolumbia in the early to mid 1980s, how there was, you know, regular student demonstrations and people locking the doors of buildings and demonstrating in front of classroom buildings to try to advocate in favor of divesting from those who had investments in south africa and some led to the doufl of the racist government in south africa. i'm not an expert in the history there, but i think that
certainly the college experience today, what i'm concerned about is so much different from what had been characterized as the liberal arts of the future and now professors have to be worried about offending students based upon ideas that generations before had been exposed to or warning that this class might upset you. you often hear the reason the first amendment comes first is that makes it the most important and, of course, the second amendment defenders like the fact that's up in the top two. soon thereafter the paradigm falls apart. i don't want to think the third amendment is the third most important. >> the proposed bill of rights was 12 amendments and the first two, one of them was what became the 27th amendment about
compensation of legislators and the other one is like the maximum or minimum 808-knbr and they nent went anywhere. what we know actually came third. i wouldn't push that. >> my most direct answer is i'm not confident that having gone through the bubble experience and then graduating from it when you enter the real world. >> do you think it might be irreparable damage to not have this broad exposure, this exposure to the idea conflict is okay and necessary for defensemen crademocracy to survive? >> that's what i'm concerned about, yes. >> that's terrifying. >> the idea that the overall ideological climate on campuses
has been very much to the left is something that has been the case for a long time. i was in college between '89 and '93 at ucla and it was like that. i don't know when that started but it certainly has been the case for a long time and has that -- and there's always the concern that, oh, the kids are learning bad things in college and are going to go out into the workforce and implement all of that stuff. has that actually been happening? the academy has always been so far to the left of the united states. in any event the united states, i would describe it as a center/right country, very much out of line with what is taught as the majority viewpoint at universities. it looks like as much as the social justice people think we have to indoctrinate these kids
and people like us think, oh, they're indoctrinating kids, not much happens. number one, you all have agency and may have been indoctrinated by your family by the time you got here. so i'm concerned about this not so much because i'm afraid that the first amendment will become diluted. i think it's become more awesome. greater protection for campaign speech against campaign finance reform. you know, protection for the westboro baptist church in picketing funerals, so i'm concerned that these ideas are bad for the college experience
itself even if your world ended after college. it's just bad for the college experience itself to have the attitude that i'm entitled not to be offended. >> i had a question about private organizations and kind of the situation where freedom of association and speech kind of clash in a sense. we don't typically hold private organizations, either through corporation, the first amendment to the 14th as a state university would but for universities that do hold themselves out as bastions of free speech and sort of renege on that when it comes to offensive speech though they're private are there ways of getting at them besides shaming, things like fraud or something like that. you held yourself out as one thing but you were misrepresenting it because you
don't, in fact, hold these values, or something like the way receiving federal money triggers, if i'm not mistaken, title 9 compliance and requirements at universities. would private schools that accept money or government grants or aids, an entwinement issue where they might in the spending of federal money or state money not to abridge certain federally guaranteed liberties. >> i can speak to the first part of that. the fire organization itself suggests -- i don't know how realistic -- but they suggest more conservative students that favor more robust policies could themselves invoke these speech codes to demonstrate the absurdity of it perhaps and they
don't seem to offend the proponents of the policy and point out the fact that prohibition of these types of speech in either direction is just wrong to do and, again, perhaps this is to professor posner's credit, people who direct all this attention to themselves you have to have a lot of self-confidence and a lot of certainty in what you wish to accomplish at one of those -- at very young ages and i remember being in philadelphia in the early to mid-1990s. there was an episode a university of pennsylvania student of israeli origin was
studying in his dorm room one night and there was a loud group of female students walk iing by it making a lot of noise. he was upset and yelled out an epithet towards them that brought him up on charges of racial incense sift. the ep them was essentially calling them water buffalo. they were arguing that water buffalo are from asia so that's not even a racist epithet. not that we should always believe wikipedia but it says it's true. so penn had brought the student up on charges and he had to hire lawyers and he refused to consent to having a mark on his record that ultimately would be removed after a period of time. and ultimately the charges were
dismissed. and now i believe penn itself has a green light from fire so they got their house entirely in order thanks to president sheldon hackney and other folks there. and when i was researching the topic of my talk today i saw there are professors other than professor volokh here at emory who strongly condemns some earlier speech codes emory was either considering or had adopted and there are people coming from the right place at all of these universities but it is difficult to figure out a strategy that that can defeat where it already exists and the students that are willing to stand up against it to their credit. i'll let professor volokh talk about the title 9 stuff if he knows. >> yeah, i don't know about suing the private universities. fraud seems like a bit of strong
m medicine. probably most private universities don't take such a strong -- maybe hypothetically if you had a university that advertised itself as the absolute free speech place and did the contrary you could say that's con rather to what you did. i think a lot of universities try and play both sides and so they can never say -- never definitively prove they violated something because, look, we had these materials where we said we believe in robust discourse while not offending anybody. it could be that given a strong enough position that could open them up. i don't see that as the most promising line of attack. now as far as suggesting that there might be universities that take so much in the way of federal funds, that makes them subject to constitutional constraints, i'm inclined to say
probably no. the case that says even if you -- that case was about, i believe, a primary or secondary school for difficult to educate students and there were districts in massachusetts that basically if they had a difficult to educate student they would send their kids to that school, which was a private school and pay the tuition. a private school that made 95% of its money by giving students the public education they were entitled to except it was private and the government was paying. they're not state actors and are not subject to constitutional constraints even if hypothetically if you made all of your money by government contracts, imagine a subway
store on capitol hill and their money was by catering legislative events. probably merely taking funds, no matter how many and how big a percentage of your budget would not make you subject to constitutional constraints. if a private university was adopting a speech code under the very strong-arming of the department of education or whatever if such a thing were happening which i don't know, you know, maybe there could be some leeway within state doctrine but i think probably most of the time that's not the case. my gut instinct is probably shaming is the best case in most cases. >> in that regard, i think if
the federal government had conditioned the availability of funds for universities on robust first amendment policies that then props the federal government could at least not fund universities that did not offer those types of policies. according to fire the federal office of civil rights may be responsible for some of the more restrictive speech codes that the universities have implemented and so that's not happening. but i think it was the solomon amendment involving access to military recruiting on campus where schools were essentially -- private schools that receive lots of federal money including harvard, yale, and the like had to let those recruiters onto campus even though they preferred not to if they had a choice. >> one thing i wanted to mention when i made my point about liberals on the left and right supporting free speech, the
federalist society is a very big tent. there are many areas where there's a very wide diversity of opinion but i think probably one thing you could say with high certainty of affiliated people we're probably not obama voters. so i think it's probably fair to say. but credit where credit is due. president obama has taken a position on a couple of occasions in favor of robust free speech on campuses. now that's not to say they're going to start conditioning funds on the college's willingness to support free speech rights but, still, it's good to know that at least one person in the administration is taking a good view on that. >> so, from what i understand, and please correct me if i'm misguided, that this freedom of speech is not absolute.
the whole yelling fire in a theater, bullying, assault, i imagine the schools have things that might be couched under speech. some of the speech might be said to amount to institutional racism or things like that. do you not buy that connection or that could never be used? it's not that hard to foresee a situation where things could be couched under the terms of speech but actually have effects that would lead to discrimination or something along those lines. do you not buy the link at all or these situations don't amount to that? >> that question may involve something you said earlier. the problem in general is you have certain recognized exceptions to freedom of speech such as the fighting words
doctrine. i may have misread this but shouting fire in a crowded theater -- >> it's only falsely shouting fire. truthfully shouting is probably praise worthy. >> the problem is that the fighting words doctrine is, in reality, a very narrow exception. if we expand it to something i say or something that somebody else says makes the listener upset. that is not what the fighting words exception means. >> i think what's important is that i don't think anything we're saying involves denying that there is institutional sexism or racism and that speech can be a part of that. so let me just give a couple of examples. what if there were a bunch of speakers on campus that took the
position in highly publicized talks the place of women is in the home and women ought to be having babies and should not work in positions of responsibility and hillary clinton should not be elected president because it is inappropriate for a woman to be the head of the free world and so on. that's one possibility for a speech and i think that the existence of those attitudes is probably part of institutional sexism and that kind of talk to the extent that it's made and the extent people believe it encourages institutional sexism, does not fight institutional sexism. if you're in a university where a lot of people believe that or a lot of talks, that might, if you will, i suppose sexism.
black people are either genetically inferior or that other sorts of biological differences that go with gender, too, or if you argue against affirmative action or even in favor of segregation or something, i think that the existence of those views and those views being expressed and people agreeing would be part of institutionalized racism. if you want to argue against the idea a transwoman is not really a woman and should not be able to use the women's rest rm aroo so on, that encourages those that are contrary to the full acceptance so they can do whatever and so on. i think nothing that we say
involves denying those things exist. i assert all of those under the first amendment are absolutely protected, that there can be no -- that government is completely prohibited from taking any action against them and that, moreover, universities like emory which adopt first amendment values in their open expression policies i think are required to allow those to happen and not to do anything to discourage them because of the need to have open expression, debate, regardless of the effects on institutional racism or sexism. >> hi. i'm just curious as to redress when we find the situations
where people have been restrictions to free speech zones on campuses. it seems to me that in undergrad university when i was involved, we felt as if we were targeted and told to be restricted for advertising for an event that we had upcoming and other organizations had not been restricted to that area for events of theirs and advertising for their events. and during this ongoing we were also fined for putting up signs and treated in an unfair manner because some of the signs that were posted had fallen down and were left up over the weekend and it turned out that the young americans for -- the young americans for liberty was the only organization we knew of fined for leaving signs up over the weekend. the first thing that everyone
seems to want to do, well, that's the chairman of the organizations. we have to do what he says. we have to pay this $175 fine for leaving the sign up over the weekend. we have to not advertise our event. find another way off campus or something like that, through social media. and luckily i was there and sort of the voice of reason to say, hey, we are being infringed upon here. we need to see what we can do. we ended up contacting fire and worked to have this handled in more of a due process like manner before we had a fine imposed upon us and had been restricted. so basically my question is how do we turn this tide of constricting of the free speech rights and limiting of any kind of due process when those rights are infringed upon, how do we
turn that tide moving forward? >> was that a public or private university? >> a private university. >> my understanding is fire has had good success in challenging the idea of free speech zones at public universities and they've been successful in having that type of restriction struck down. most of these decisions are from individual u.s. district courts. i know for the jurisdiction of ann arbor, the university of michigan case and at the same time the u.s. supreme court, correct me if i'm wrong, has never taken on the question yet of campus free speech rights. to my understanding most district judges before whom the cases have come have found that restricting free speech to a tiny little zone is unconstitutional and, again, to
speak of judge posner, one case involving a preacher, he went on to google maps and took a look at where the location was because the attorneys had done a horrible job and he loves his own research. that's a topic for another conversation on another panel. >> yeah, i think the supreme court has some precedent that is more or less on point, for example, the rosenburger case about universities can't -- public universities can't discriminate against religious groups, in terms of having newspapers. i think most of the cases involving specifically speech codes and just in that area have been mostly at the district court level, though i'm not 100% sure. as to the broader question of how do you prevent this thing from happening, how do you turn the tide on that, lawsuits and shame. lawsuits and shame. that's what i say.
any other questions? yes? >> as a follow-up question to that, if your speech has been restricted to free speech zone how do you get out there and really get that shame out, as you say, to the community and let everyone know, hey, this is not just our small organization's problem, whatever it may be. but a societal issue, a fundamental rights issue. >> fortunately we have blogs now. lawsuits, shame and blogs. three things. >> the ability to get a message out to the public exists in an unrestricted way. that doesn't mean that anything you post online will be ever seen by anyone, of course. there's no guarantee of that. at the same time what people are too worried about or not enough about, everyone will see what you post online and maybe you
shouldn't post anything on line. i agree that by contacting the fire organization and by speaking out in ways that are not necessarily limited to the physical campus, are possible ways. of course there are cases including one out of the fifth circuit where a college student -- rather a high school student, it was, had a rap music song he was critical of a gym teacher for perhaps sexually harassing female students and it was held he was properly disciplined over strong dissent. i don't know where jerry smith came out on this. >> on the other hand the secondary school has a lesser -- >> that case is now up on a c t certs petition to the u.s. supreme court. it was noteworthy because rap music artist had filed briefs
and they don't weigh in on too many supreme court cases. >> we barely even had computers. i didn't have e-mail until -- e-mail didn't make it big until the year after i graduated so it was a lot harder to get shame for one's university nationwide if it did something. are there any other questions? all right. well, do you have any concluding comments? >> thank you so much for coming out for the talk. i appreciate all the great questions. >> thank you, howard bashman.
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♪ former u.s. diplomat michele flournoy discussed the future of the conflict between israel and palestinians living in the west bank and the gaza strip. the discussion centered around a new report for the center for a new american security which hosted the event. this is about an hour and 15 minutes. >> i run the program here and welcome to this discussion today as we release a new report on
security system for the two state solution. now the whole purpose of this report, i will talk about it for a couple of minutes, and we have an excellent panel i will introduce as we go through the discussion. fundamentally the whole purpose of this report is that we have come to the conclusion, at least i did during the last round of the negotiations but so did so many others that israelis will never agree to a permanent status agreement unless their security requirements are met. palestinians will never agree to a situation where they feel as though they're in a permanent occupation. so the question is, how do you balance these two different challenges and try to find some security system that actually meets both sides' needs. and what we've tried to do with this it report today is develop the most detailed public study on security arrangements that has ever been put together that meets both sides' needs. we don't believe this is the final answer, take it or leave it.
it's the reason we call this advancing the dialogue, and that is part of the discussion in the report is because this is a set of ideas that we hope can it continue to fuel a conversation. now a number of reasons why we've decided to do this now it you might ask, why would you do this now given how difficult the situation is right now between israelis and palestinians and what seems to be a moment where the idea of negotiations and agreement between israelis and palestinians seems so far away, but i think a few central reasons. one, somebody who worked on the last round of the negotiations in 2013 and '14 for secretary kerry, the first thing we did as a team in those negotiations is go outside and examine all the work that had been done prior. basically between the camp david negotiations in 2000 all the way through 2013 in annapolis. and so much had been done externally that made it easier for the negotiators to actually wrap their heads around what the
solutions might be. we hope this effort can contribute to that and can continue to push the ball forward even when there is no negotiation. it also is important to do this because many of the things we are recommending for the future you can work back from and see, well, what should we be doing today on the security front to be ready for that moment. and so this helps israelis, helps palestinians, helps security officials, helps americans who are training palestinians in the west bank as we speak, see what the end state looks like it and from it derive conclusions for today. and, finally, i think it's also, we felt, very important to try to communicate with the israeli public in particular and demonstrate that security is possible, that there is a solution through something that's comprehensive and rigorous and it technical. this is how you could do this. we think that's a very important message to send to everyone but
he especially to the israeli puc which is so sensitive about this particularly in the aftermath of the withdrawal from gaza. and what happened after the withdrawal from gaza and the fear gaza just -- if israel were to redeploy from the west bank you would end up with a situation similar to what you have in gaza today. so just a couple of things about the overall principles that guide the security proposals that we're making and then i'll turn it over to our discussion. the first is the idea behind this whole security system is to build multilayered security system that includes israel's better relations with the arab states in the aftermath of an agreement, much stronger border security system than the one that exists today, and a much better internal security system inside the palestinian -- the future palestinian state. but israel still compassity to defend itself. israel has taken unilateral actions in the past, syria, lebanon, and the united states
takes action in places like pakistan when it feels its natural interests are at stake. the key is to build the system so the need for that type of action is limited because if that becomes the default the whole negotiation will break down. the palestinians will never accept it. two other key principles that we based this work on, you can read all six of the key principles in the first page of the report if you don't want to go through the 70 pages. but one is there's a lot of things that can be done early that are easy and straight forward that can minimize israeli visibility and remove the feeling of occupation the palestinians feel and that can be done early and quickly. there are core fund aamental things the israelis need and that can take longer. there's a tradeoff between what can be done quickly and easily to send syria signals and what will take a lot longer. finally, very important for both
sides, the israelis need to know they will not redeploy from the west bank and then have, as i said, have it become gaza. not redeploy from the west bank if conditions aren't right. the palestinians need to know there's a clear timetable for withdrawal. and so what we've designed is a conditions dependent performance based area-by-area phased withdrawal. israelis and palestinians and americans come together and agree on the criteria that will be necessary before anybody -- before an israeli force hands over responsibility in a particular area to the palestinians and once all of that has been negotiated, there is a process, the system is built. there's a process by which that criteria has or has not been met. it includes target timetables so it's clear if they meet the
criteria they have agreed to they get their timetables. so that's, i think, the core of the study. i've spoken for far too long and would like to really engage our panel in this discussion. and so i'm going to do that. i'll introduce them one at a time as we go. i will argue none of these three need any introduction whatsoever. i think they are clearly known as serious security professionals americans and israelis have been dealing with these issues for a long time and we're honored to have michele flournoy, major general gadi shamni. gadi, i want to talk with you. before we get into the details of the discussion, i want to start with just why -- why do this study? why, especially now, at such a
difficult time do you think that this is still possible and why for you to spend as much time as you have with us working on something like this given -- it's interesting hearing from you because you were the commander of central command and ran command for the idf. you were a former military adviser to prime minister sharon and led troops in hebron and also led forces in gaza, was a commander there as well. from that perspective why, why now, and why this? >> good morning -- good afternoon already. thanks for introducing me, ilan. i think we israelis cannot allow ourselves not to do everything, to explore a way to achieve peace with our palestinian neighbors will actually lead us to much broader peace with our
neighbors. so this is something that we have to do, it's the moral duty of anyone who cares for the state of israel and for the future of the next generation and the whole region. so that's the reason. i think there are so controversial issues between us and the palestinians. the security issue is the most delicate one. is a condition for everything. in order to move forward, you have to solve the security issues. this research we actually explain that viable security solution exists. and not without taking risks. we all know in order to move forward in this field, in that neighborhood that we live in, you have to take risks, and i think the state of israel is strong and powerful enough country that can and should take
risks in order to achieve peace. now i have quite a significant experience in this arena of the palestinian issue and i first acknowledged the complicated -- how complicated it is when i came to command the city of hebron in '96-'97. it was after the withdrawal of gaza, according to the oslo agreement, after evacuating the palestinian cities in the west bank and everything was stuck because of hebron and i was the one at the time on the ground that actually shaped together paris and did visit a lot and asked questions on how to cut the deal. at the end of the day. and reconstructed, finally, a
special agreement was signed for hebron, redeployed from hebron at the end of '96. we passed responsibility for 85% of the city. we built a very complicated structure of security arrangement that holds until today. so, for me, it was an example on how things can work if there's a good will on both sides. now since then, four years later, they broke up because of the perception and the attitude of arafat was dealing with peace and terror at the same time. it didn't work and i'm sure that you all know the history. the outcomes of this intefadeh were terrible for both sides. thousands were killed.
many palestinians, the economy was devastated, both sides were big losers of this intefadeh. it took us five years to suppress this wave of terrorism. and then when i took office asc before the coup in gaza. there was the unity government. in 2007, a month after i entered office in central command, hamas expelled from gaza, shooting people, throwing from buildings, humiliating them. after i heard the morning briefing and i talked to my men, look, there's an opportunity to start something new, and i can tell you that since then we started to cooperate with what i
call the new palestinians. they were very different from the palestinians that i met in '96-'97. i think they learned a lesson of the second intefadeh. i think their heads of security organization are committed to fight terrorism, to peace. i can tell you they have a lot of reasons, many reasons, to be unhappy with the way that we treat them but, still, they do what they need to do. so i believe -- and that's the answer. i believe we are in a unique time in the israeli/palestinian history. i don't want it to talk about how wide is the window, but we have to do something about it. >> thank you, gadi. and that's a very powerful message, he is peespecially the
realization in the aftermath of the hamas coup in gaza and that particular story. i want to turn now to john. you have led u.s. forces, general. you've been u.s. special envoy for the isis fight, to the international coalition fighting isis. you've led men in anbar province. from the conversations we've had and when you worked on this issue, this is something you care deeply about and spent so much time on and so, again, the question to you is why? why spend so much on this issue some people say is not as important as some of the other issues you've dealt with in recent years. >> this may be the most important thing i've ever been involved in, frankly. i was raised in a family where the history of the jewish people and their future was very important to us. and from the very earliest moments that i can remember the stories of my mother and father, the jewish people, were raised up as an important focus over who we are as americans. israel, of course, is the jewish
state, is very important to that. so, for me, if i'm going to be committed to something that supports the jewish people and the long-term strategic viability of israel, which i believe is at stake here, trying to participate in and be a part of a process that can bring about a two-state solution where israel's security is guaranteed but also can create a sovereign and independent palestine for the arab people and in partnership with israel so both of their security is enhanced by virtue of that partnership, i think there is no bad time to be fully committed to this. and, as you know, i left the government in november as the president's special envoy for the global co-laalition to figh isil and the last conversation with john kerry walking out of the building should the opportunity arise would i be willing to come back. i said i'll come off the bench
the rest of my life for this. this is really important. it's important because this relationship, israel with the palestinians, the israelis with the palestinians, is often at the harpt of so many of the issues that we find in the region. and by creating an environment where we protect israel's strategic viability and creating an environment where the palestinians believe their interests have been served by that relationship, i think we can put paid to a number of entities in the region that use this as a crutch and as an excuse not to move forward with peace or relationships with israel. and i'm thinking iran in particular, which i've sought to champion, falsely champion, the values and the rights of palestinians. and by doing this, by working
hard for this two-state outcome, again, where israel's security is guaranteed and the palestinians have a sovereign and independent viable state and is a security partner with israel, i think we can volume of or begin the process of solving many of the problems in the middle east. >> thank you, john. and that's a powerful statement about the long history of your commitment to this issue which i saw personally during these efforts. michele, i want to turn to you. you've had extensive experience at the pentagon working on these issues, especially as under secretary of defense for policy where you dealt with pretty much the most sensitive policy issues we had to with the israelis and they were meant in relationship is unique, it is like nothing else in my view, in my time, both from the state department side and from the pentagon side. so i thought maybe you can talk about some of your experiences there, how this issue has run
into the other things you've dealt with at the pentagon or less so and generally speak iin. >> sure. well, thank you all for coming today. we're very excited to see you all for this report rollout. i think the u.s. commitment to the security -- to the state of israel and the security of israel is a historic one-and-one that has transcended or been carried through administration to administration, one of the few areas of our foreign policy that receives consistent and solid bipartisan support. this is a pillar of american foreign policy and for good reason. within that, the defense relationship between the u.s. and israel is really unique and it is a pillar of the relationship. i think both sides do their best to insulate the defense relationship and our cooperation from the ups and downs, the roller coaster ride we sometimes have in the political sphere
when we have agreement on this, disagreement on that and so forth. but having had the student to work on this very unique defense relationship, the real governing principle is this notion of maintaining israel's qualitative military edge. and to reference something ilan said, to ensure israel has the ability to defend itself by itself. and people too often think about this thing that you attain. we are done. great. we can pat ourselves on the back. the truth is it's a dynamic. the environment in which israel exists is dynamic. we've seen dramatic changes in the region. we've seen all kinds of both threats and opportunities emerge in and around the state of israel. and so qme has to be constantly
re-evaluated and supported in that very dynamic environment. so what really drew me to this project was this notion of if you assume that that ironclad u.s. commitment to israel and to israel's security will remain in future administrations, and i believe that is the case, how would you ensure qme? how would you ensure the state of israel's security and ability to defend itself by it self in the context of a permanent status agreement? and it is a question that, i think, is fascinating and it does go to the greatest concern that israelis have about the agreement. can you reassure me that i will be secure in a two-state solution? so if we can crack that nut, we create a lot of potential once
negotiations resume for making real progress. and that, i think, is really part of securing both the israeli population and the palestinian people for the long term. >> palestinian people. >> during our discussions we didn't spend much time on qme. sitting in the broader context of the defense relationship makes all the sense in the world. so gadi, let me go back to you. what we'll do is dive into some of the specific details of the report, some of the different proposals that are out there. i want to start with internal security because internal security is the most important thing. israelis need to know in the first argument that you hear is the idea if we leave the west bank, the west bank will become gaza. the west bank will -- hamas will take over right away. palestinians can't secure themselves.
israel has to be there forever. what kind of internal system can you build. how do you think about that. the palestinians don't feel like they're controlling large parts of their territory. >> as you said in the beginning, the security system is interesting. you should take, for example, the border to the east. security border of israel stops at the border of jordan with iraq. that's where it stops because of the great cooperation that we have today. let's imagine that we will have a more comprehensive peace with
more countries in the region. now let's go back one step which is controversial issue. if you ask most israelis, they will tell you that they will probably appreciate the idea of staying in jordan but we know that the idea if we sit forever in jordan, many will claim and palestinians will never accept it. in this paper we built a system that we will be able to support an effective count of terrorism
internally by building very strong palestinian force that cannot pose any threat to the state of israel but can be very effective internally supported by others, supported by israel. joint system of intelligence and capabilities that will enable this israeli-palestinian monitored by the u.n. to prevent terrorism in the region. if you want to go to the issue of jordan valley. >> do that a little bit later. >> leave the jordan valley.
>> the palestinians have proved when they want to fight, they can do it. that's what's happening in the past years. when we pass responsibility to the cities and palestinians have a high amount of motivation. it's enabled us to transfer even the most sensitive intelligence in order for them to take action.
all of this can create a good solution for internal security one issue is gaza. how do you solve the problem with gaza. gaza has to meet seven conditions in order to be part of this issue. at the end of the day gaza will be a part of the solution. today it's a part of the problem. it will have to be part of the solution not in the initial phase. this is something that i think that the report addresses. >> i'm only continuing to follow along this particular point to you, gadi or to john. one of the things the report gets into is the idea of taking a small force, small counter terrorism force and training them to a level really equivalent of a s.w.a.t. team of a major american city and having that be an elite counter
terrorism force that's still not capable of necessarily threatening israel but can really do the job internally and then a system that then goes from that initial point of the action through the court system to make sure that we don't -- the palestinians have this unique capacity that they don't have today. so maybe actually, john, i can turn to you to at least talk a little bit about that. your ideas on that or gadi and then also building on that is how you get there and how you train that force as well and think about it. >> well, it's a really important point. it's about the security of the border, but it's also the security inside within the potential future state of palestine. i think the approach that we took when i led the process was to, again, look very hard at a
trilateral process and a regime of cooperation where we would see an intelligence fusion capacity where all three parties participated, which would hand off the developing intelligence to an operational entity, fused operational entity which would be emphasizing a palestinian counter terrorism capability, a s.w.a.t. entity of some form or another which would then go through the process of building the intelligence and the target package launching on the mission and then as we typically see coming off the objective with detainees, et cetera, that goes to your point of having not just the capacity to run the tactical operation, very importantly to have the capacity to run the judicial process that follows, to hold people accountable, and then have the capacity to detain them in a credible way in a detention process that doesn't
enhance the inherent increase of extremism that we frequently see in detention processes. so it's not an uncomplicated process, but it's also not one that has few unknowns to it, too many double negatives there, but we can foresee from one end to another, from the development of the intelligence until the person is ultimately incarcerated, we can see that process. we can see the juncture of the operational force with the process of the judiciary. we can see the function and the juncture of the end of the judicial process with the process of incarceration which would also include at the hands of the palestinians, deradicalization and getting into society. put a lot of effort into that. it wasn't a casual process. the other aspect of that was all that we did was a comprehensive approach. it wasn't as sometimes is portrayed in the media, a high technology approach or a single dimension to the approach. it integrated technology, it
integrated infrastructure, it integrated training and unit organization and it integrated relationships in a way that gave us the synergy that gave us the outcome that we chose. i'll give us a couple of points here. my conversation with very senior israeli officials and my palestinian counterparts who were frankly very forthcoming the entire time i worked with them on being a partner in this process. i told them that this process is a dynamic process and that the plan ultimately that would be produced if the israeli side and the palestinian side were to come together and be able without our help to find the final outcome that they were seeking with respect to the sovereign state of palestine and a secure israel, then there probably wouldn't be the need for an american plan but the chances are until trust is developed and a willingness to take risk is embraced by both sides, we're going to get somewhere to about this point
and the plan is intended to bridge that point, to create a long-term relationship with the united states and israeli partners and palestinian partners willing to do this, a training command, a multi-national training command in a number of states have demonstrated real interest in helping to train palestinians to create this environment in which over a period of time in partnership with the israelis and palestinians we bridge the difference to give both sides the confidence necessary to take the risks ultimately to come together on their own. that's very important. what can be done today? i know part of the plan or part of the study that's being released talks about that. it's not in the study, but i will tell you in conjunction with the work that i did, we commissioned a very detailed assessment of the palestinian security forces, very detailed assessment. the idf supported the process and abu mazan directed that his seven security chiefs
participate actively in it. seven months long. our intention was to look at the institutional changes made because it's not a military force in the end, it's a law enforcement entity, security entity. what necessary changes would be needed to build capacity in the ministry of interior. what organizational changes might be needed to improve the capacity of the various palestinian security entities and then what functional changes would be necessary and in conversation, again, with senior israeli leadership, there are things that came out of that study that can be done today that improve organizational capacity, to better support the organizations in the field from the ministry of interior, to improve medical support, career training, to improve access to schools. all of those things can be done today and do not, this is important, do not increase the risk to israel. in fact, it increases the capacity of the palestinians to
be better security partners which in the end increases the security of israel. we can move out today on that even if there's no political challenge, no political conversation occurring. that was well-documented. we didn't release the report because at that particular moment we saw the problems emerging in gaza. we weren't sure where this was all going to go. what we didn't want was for the subjects of the report to be taken apart and pieces of it used inadvertently, but there is great work that could be done inside of that report. >> thank you, john. michele, i want to turn back to you. we've had this discussion. you know, one of the things that israelis will say, skeptics will say, i think what gadi and john have laid out is an incredibly detailed and rigorous plan, but what skeptics will say is, look, the americans trained forces in iraq, they trained forces in afghanistan. you left, the forces fell apart.
how do we know we're just not going to have a repeat of that? why put all of the emphasis in training the palestinian forces when at the end of the day you just don't know and you can't trust them? >> i think at the end of the day if you look more closely at the american record, our record training their delayed counter terrorism units is much more positive. mainly for a couple of reasons. one is they tend to be the best forces available. you get the best human capital to work with and so forth, but it's also true that we almost always sustain a relationship and we continue working with them. so even in places like iraq and afghanistan where some aspects of the force have under performed, those elite units have stayed very professional and very effective and continue to serve very well. and, again, i think the key lessons for me are you have to suggestion stain a relationship over time, not just for training
but to avoid the politicization of the force. what happened in iraq that caused whole divisions to fall apart was not a lack of training or equipping, what happened was that the senior leadership, prime minister malaki at the time took the most competent division commanders, took them out of the force and put his political cronies in. he politicized the leadership of the force and then you had units that would no longer fight and die for someone who they viewed as a political hack who was completely incompetent. now when you stay with a force, when you stay engaged as we would be making a long-term commitment to partnering with israel and the future palestinian state as john described it, a guarantor of this, we would be partnering long term to ensure that this force had not only the training
and equipment it needed but the continued training and mentorship to make sure that it didn't become polite sized or derailed in some way or if that were happening we're able to see that and raise it as a political issue at the political level. so i think the track record is actually better than it looks and i think we've -- it's clear enough that we can learn some lessons that very much apply to ensuring that we can be successful in this case. >> thank you. that's obviously one that we'll still be continuing conversation and challenging one in any future proposal because so much of it is, as john said, dependent on, you know, people, not just technology and our building these people. it's actually one of the reasons the cover of the report you see is a picture of israeli security forces and palestinian security forces, because at the end of the day, external upgrades and facilities and infrastructure, all of those things are important, but the single most important thing is human
capital, people and political environment that makes it work. so i want to turn now to the issue of the jordan -- to the jordan valley and the border. this time i'd like to start maybe with john to talk a little bit about the details about how you think about the border security system as a whole in some of the work that we did during those -- during those discussions previously and it's also in the report. >> well, ilan, we don't have enough time this afternoon for me to lay out the level of detail i think everyone needs to hear, but i will tell you -- tell those who have read other reporting in the media on the assessment of our plan. first of all, anybody that's reporting in the media has never seen our plan, that's the first thing, so they really don't know but i will tell you that -- i would say that there are very few of my counterparts in any of the countries involved here who have actually traveled all 93
kilometers of the jordan river from the dead sea to where it passes out of what will become the palestinian state and looked at every meter of that ground to ensure that we could control that ground in one way or the other. and as i said, it's a comprehensive approach. first and foremost, it is a time phased approach where the israeli presence over time will reposition still to be relevant and over time will diminish in a time phased approach with milestones that would be previously agreed with respect to the standards to be achieved by the palestinians before israeli forces would depart. so that's the first thing. the process is over years, it's not just in months, it's over years. i won't talk about the numbers of years we were talking about, but i will tell you that we were coming towards the center in
conversation. it's more than that. it's the training command that we established down to the details of the individual subunits of the training command that would work closely with the various of the palestinian entities to build their capacity to the standards that we talked about to work then closely with their american trainers, advisors over a long period of time, decades, over a long period of time to ensure both that there's a continual professional uplift and to be present in the event of crisis and do that in a partnership with our israeli partners so that over time as israel repositions initially in the jordan river valley and then along the jordan river and then ultimately repositions back into israeli borders, that the kinds of residual force along the river still provides a level of security. in conjunction with that, a very detailed barrier plan. very detailed barrier plan with multiple layers in that barrier plan and a sensor system which
provides for the capacity to look in all directions to ensure that we can cierre threats, to ensure that we can see moving threats on the ground and then as we talked about having joint border centers, one in jordan, one in palestine jointly manned by all four parties involved so that we have a common visualization on the great walls of those operation centers so that it's seen in israel, it's seen in palestine, it's seen in jordan and probably seen in an american command center somewhere. we all have the same visualization. all of this together constitutes the comprehensive approach which is time phased with milestones that have standards based supported by technology but very importantly a highly well-trained palestinian force worthy over time with american assistance and israeli assistance if that were to come
forward to be the replacement force on the ground there. but, again, all of that is to be negotiated, but the details of the plan exist today and could be implemented relatively quickly. >> and one follow-up question. in your view compared to what sits on that border today, do you see this as a significant upgrade in terms of the people -- >> no question. there is some fencing along that border today, but the process in the end with the infrastructure that will be built, barrier fences, the patrol roads, the base garrisons for patrolling units, israeli units initially and then eventually palestinian and american units, that's entirely new infrastructure. the sensor system would be mostly new but of high quality, proven sensors we've used in a lot of places where it's worked out well. so there is no comparison with what will be produced versus what's on the ground today. to include the border coordination centers.
those are really important. it will create habits of cooperation between palestinians who will leave the border coordination center at some point in the new palestinian state with their jordanian counterparts across the river with the same -- with americans, jordanians, palestinians, all of them will provide for strategic viability and strategic security. >> gadi, i'd like to invite you to follow-up on that on two questions. one is any additional comments on the overall system that john is describing there. i know you've spent a lot of time there also and thought very carefully about these questions and we've talked about that. and also to follow-up despite all of these different systems, you know, there is still this question about, okay, who in the long term is that force sitting on the river?
and the report offers a number of options but ultimately comes down and says the american force is probably the most politically digestible option talking about small number of americans to deal with this, either on their own or together with the palestinian force. that's obviously a major issue in israel and a major concern. maybe you can also start to -- >> as i told you in the beginning, most israelis would like to see the idea of staying there, but i think impossible to do it and to achieve a peace agreement with the palestinians. by the way, we have the same dilemma when we left the gaza strip. the border between gaza and egypt was a very short corridor, 12 kilometers from the sea to sh loam. still, a lot of problems.
i commanded the division of government in the height of the conflict with the palestinians and hamas in 2003, 2004. we had times that hamas was producing rockets, ieds, everything. it's true that after -- it's true that after the disengagement from gaza and while the egyptians didn't -- didn't pay enough attention to that border, hamas could -- could -- could bring ammunition, knowledge, send people to train in syria and iran and they picked up their capabilities. it's true. but, still, if i look in situation today, possible situation in 2004 and i was in gaza, it could have been much worse had we stayed in the
corridor, much more difficult than it is today. that's why this cannot be suspected if someone doesn't understand military issues, strategy, you know, decided to leave and it's a big dilemma. by the way, he was the one that decided to hold elections in jerusalem and those elections in hamas won. when i asked him, prime minister, aren't you -- aren't you afraid hamas will win? he said, okay. we can handle it. so gaza is -- gaza is the problem but gaza will be part of the solution in the future, that's how you should see it. so going back to the jordan river, it's the same thing. we have a very committed jordanian force on the eastern side. i hope that we will have very -- an american force, you know? israelis have a bad experience
with the international forces. that's the way of thinking, but if you really look carefully into it, take the example of lebanon, for example, 1701, 1701 brought the lebanese military into lebanon. is it bad or worse? we are enjoying the longest time of quiet in lebanon. hamas is deterred. the valley deterred. i think that the plan that general allen did, you know, is a very comprehensive plan but at the end of the day it's not a matter of equipment or technology, it's a matter of commitment. and i think the commitment is the there. we can do it -- we have to live -- at the end of the day we have to leave the palestinians with the feeling that the
sovereignty is there, otherwise -- so i think an american force is -- the american conduct and commitment is very much appreciated by israel. that's why i think that the american forces can be a very good solution. small, capable american force working side by side with the jordanians. in our plan we actually portray unique zone of about a mile and a half from each side of the river that jordanian, u.s. forces, earlier idf and the palestinians are sharing everything on that zone. system of border crossing and i think that can lead to a good solution now. we have good examples. like the sinai is a good example
to the american commitment. that was not designed for similar missions, it was designed much weaker with equipment and the men that they were given. so now they found it difficult to cope with the threat in the sinai. that's not how you want to build an american force that -- if an american force is in jordan. this is something that can be addressed. i know that the current government doesn't like it, but we don't do this -- we didn't do this plan for the current government, we did it for the state of israel. i feel that that's the way it should be. >> gadi, one follow-up. you know, comment/question, but really the focus with the jordan river here, i think it's important you talked about a 2 kilometer zone on each side. that keeps it -- route 90, keeps
it very invisible to the palestinians, which is critical. there's a lot of arguments for you need to hold the entire jordan river valley which is much more invasive. it really has a lot more to do with conventional military threats, such as an invasion from the east, right? was there -- which seems a lot less likely at this point, obviously, but, you know, what do you think if you maintain the entire jordan river valley strategically? >> well, i think that conventional threats doesn't exist now. can it evolve in the future? yes. but i think that with the regional structures as we talk about with jordanian commitment, with an american commitment to the security of jordan things will look totally different. that's -- that's -- when you talk about the multi-layer system, that's the idea.
layers of security, layers of commitment, layers of partnerships. that's the way to do it. so i think that, you know, the conventional threat is something that can be done. at the end of the day israel is a sovereign country and we will see that something is threatening the existence of the state of israel. you can see what's happening in lebanon today. the russians are there. the idf operating when we need to operate in lebanon or in syria, we do. it's never restricted. you know, international forces never restricted israel from operating when there was a real need to do it. and so i think that's the answer. i hope that's the answer to your question.
>> no, that absolutely answers it. and, michele, i want to turn back to you. the proposal here, we should hear about it from the american perspective as well. this idea, the report recommends 3 to 800 troops who would do this border security mission, who would also do part of the training with the -- the training can also be done internationally with a lot of other forces who are already there and are already committed to the training and implementation and monitoring, most of which would be done by americans. you know, what do you think -- do you think the u.s./israel relationship is strong enough to withstand that kind of challenge if it becomes a challenge? do you think that -- which is something the israelis worry about? do you think there is a commitment here in congress and with the american public in terms of the u.s. willingness to deploy these type of forces in peace-keeping type situations? >> again, if you look at history, when presidents have gone to the american people and
made a compelling strategic case for why u.s. forces needed to be deployed forward, you know, whether it was germany during the cold -- and central europe during the cold war or south korea at the, you know, termination -- you know, the uncertain termination of that conflict or the balkans to keep the peace as the conflict died down and secure the future of the states of former yugoslavia. the american people have shown themselves quite willing to support that. if you imagine the context that we're talking about here, the context is we have achieved this -- we collectively have a dheefd historic agreement that is going to secure the state of israel long term, ensure the
legitima legitimacy, ending the occupation, creating a viable state. in that context to ask for a small american commitment to ensure that is successful, i mean, i think this is not a hard strategic case for an american president to make to the american people with disproportionate earlytive impacts on the future of the region. >> well said. yeah. >> i'd be ready to make that case. >> i'm going to ask one final question, throw it out to gadi or john and then we'll answer questions. it pops up in dialogue today, concerns about either tunnelling -- not the border, we talked about the border with jordan. we haven't talked about the border between the new palestinian state and israel. i think there are people that look at the tunnelling threat
and also, for example, areas around let's say ben guion airport and how you deal with those types of challenges or even with rockets and fired things from gaza. i want to throw that out there as another issue that's important to address and that we tackle in the report to get your perspective and then open it up to questions. >> i'll defer to my hero, gadi, here in a moment. we took those seriously. we watched what was unfolding during the gaza conflict at the time we were doing the negotiations and some of the horrific activity that occurred in what became known as subterrainian warfare. israel today probably leads the world in doctrinal thinking about the implications of subterrainian warfare and how ultimately to face that threat and to deal with it. but i'll also tell you that we're looking at it as well.
that will be an important part of the conversation, part of the negotiations will be the conversation with the three parties or the multiple parties on how we secure the subterrainian border for israel and palestine at the same time we are securing both the terrestrial border and also the air space. the three are intermingled and they're interrelated. we would need to ensure that it's a comprehensive view. we don't take our eyes off the underground piece of this. i think i'll leave it at that. that's good. >> as john said, we are about to reach a break through in technology. we cannot talk about it too much here but i think that investing our money in the last year, very comprehensive cooperation with the u.s. in order to find
solutions for the issue. it's a very complicated issue. it's talking about multi-sensing. it's only a matter of time. you see the most effective thing against tunnels is how committed people are. there are two tunnels. i guess it will be the same thing with the jordanians. i hope it will be the same with the palestinians. now we talk about the israel-palestinian border which is more complicated. by the way, over there, an international presence is problematic. this is something that doesn't
have a flexibility. the fact that over there you don't have too much time. there's time to react, to think. when the border is 500 meters from an israeli town, that's a very short time to react. ultimately you need to be much more flexible than agile. i think this is something that can be of interest. the air space in the maritime, the maritime also addresses our paper. i think that we found the right way to coordinate. at the end of the day i think israel has to have some overriding capability because of the size of this region. it's like delaware, you know? the size of the state of israel,
that's it. you can't have three air domains in this one piece of land or air space. i think we address it, we have the best expert sitting with the palestinians, with the jordanians and there are solutions for everything. it's only a matter of -- >> absolutely. the point to emphasize, turn to questions also is so much of this was done. ultimately this report is written by americans and israelis because security is such a core issue for israelis. there's ultimately so much about what the united states can provide but it was done in heavy consultation with jordanians, with palestinians to ensure that their red lines aren't crossed. with that, why don't we move to questions. there should be a couple of microphones in the room. why don't you wait until the person with the microphone gets to you and please identify yourself before asking your question.
i also encourage questions as opposed to statements. we'll go right back there. >> good afternoon. thank you. my name is doug samuelsson. i'm president of a little consulting company here in town. with negotiations of this kind, how do you secure any agreement against the possible problems of political change within the parties? every party to the agreement could at the next election or other event take a very different tack on things. how do you secure against that sort of volatility? >> really, that's the question that folks -- the questioning comes down to. on the palestinian side, what do you do if you end up with a hamas government and on the other side how do you end up with a government -- >> that's different. let's just put it that way. don't get any more specific than that.
>> fair enough. i can open it up to our panelists or take a crack at it myself. whatever folks would like to do. >> i don't want to kick the ball into the grandstands here, but we said at the very beginning, israel wants no part of the agreement will ever eliminate the ability of israel to defend itself and to take those measures that are necessary. the hope would be that as this process goes forward, that it will stabilize the political process, not create greater political instability so that an extremist organization or an extremist ideology won't find its way into the leadership position. the greater the stability, the more likely then the relationship and the stronger the relationship would be between israel and palestine. that i think would be an enhancement to stability, not a recipe for greater instability. that said, if the process for
the establishment of the palestinian state and the preparation of the palestinian security forces moves forward in a manner as suggested by this report, i think we would find that there would still be a very professional approach by the palestinians in close and clear partnership with the israeli security forces. i will simply tell you from my own experience with the palestinians and my great respect for the ones with whom i dealt during the 15 months that i was dealing with this, they were unambiguously and utterly committed to finding a solution to this. there were details that needed to be fixed but they chose to depict themselves as what they hoped to be an island of stability in a region where much of the rest of it was exploding before their very eyes. they wanted to be a good security partner for israel because it enhances their own sovereignty and stability.
my sense is those forces would be if well trained, well advised under still an american presence and close partnership between the three parties, that would be a break probably on the likelihood that we would see some form of an extremist entity move into the leadership positions. >> yeah, i would emphasize that point, at least from my own experiences with palestinian security officials, just how committed -- how they see themselves not just as this being in agreement with israel, how they see themselves as being a partner to the united states, how the united states deals with terrorism and the arab world. they recognize they're pretty small but they want to play that role and be there like the jordanians and egyptians. question here in the corner. >> as a number of the panelists said, it comes down in the end to people in some ways perception. clearly what you've articulated i think is breakthrough and shows promise. the question is michele's
question, are you more secure in israel and elsewhere? although you're just rolling it out and perhaps the commander for israel security and the general can speak to, it's the issue of how is it perceived? as you roll it out what is your assessment of how it will be perceived putting aside elections only with the israeli populus and with the new emerging palestinian leadership that's mentioned? >> i think that question makes the most sense to start with gadi in terms of how the israeli public is likely to see this given -- >> well, i'll tell you, describing the problem that we face today, okay? today we face a problem that we have -- israel has been divided into a few groups, okay? one is very well organized,
illogical, right wing that is actually controlling a lot of political issues in israel. the second group is very weak, almost non-existent left and most of the group, in my view, is the center which are indifferent and live in their comfort zone. so that's -- that's my -- that's my answer. you know, i guess that it will -- it might -- you know, it might then crash to the world of indifference. i hope that we will be able to -- you know, to wake up somebody, you know? and i hope it's not violence will wake us up. i hope the public will do
something about it. so we are doing our best. we are here with a group of 200 or more generals, senior israeli security people supporting. it's still difficult but, you know, i believe that we should do it. you have to remember that to use these things is not to -- not to keep changing the realities on the ground because if you change the realities on the ground dramatically, it won't be relevant anymore. >> that's right. >> the trend today, i think there is a good understand iing among the israeli leadership
that this problem has to be addressed. we have to achieve the solution again. they said yesterday, i believe in the israeli press, okay? i believe that's the case. maybe one day -- i'm sure that general allen's plan will be unveiled. i know the level and they were invested in this plan. it's an amazing thing. they bought this huge group like you americans know how to do. >> overwhelming force. >> with numerous airplanes that landed.
and they made a good plan. and they made a good plan. there is a lot of commitment. i think on the palestinian side people are committed, many people are committed. >> i agree. >> the west bank, not hamas and gaza, i think that most israelis understand that by the end be of the day we will have to live side by side with the palestinians forever so we have to find some kind of solution. many israelis, i have a son who just joined the military. his mom who's sitting here, you know, she's very nervous. we always promised our children they will grow up we won't have wars anymore. that's what i was told, that's what my wife told my son. i didn't say it. she told my son. we'd really like to get done with it. >> i'm going to go right over here. >> thank you.
i'm from partnership for secure america and a native of gaza. my question to you is do you ever see hamas as part of the solution in the future? i know that they are part of the problem now. and do you think it's important to differentiate between the palestinians on the ground living in gaza and the people living -- and hamas as an entity? >> the second question is? >> don't -- do you see a way to differentiate between the citizens of gaza and the people running the strip and that is hamas? and the question number one is do you ever see hamas as part of the solution? and i say this because i don't want to as a palestinian, i don't want to negotiate with you. i already know you want to make peace. i want to negotiate with the ones who don't want to make peace. this is what i was taught in negotiation school. do you ever see them getting invited to the table to be
involved in the process? because sooner or later they are palestinians and they are there to stay. my question to the entire group is how do you restore hope in the people who suffered at the hands of the israelis and the people who suffered at the hands of the palestinians? how do i tell them that there is hope and there will be a day where we can live in peace together? >> so question for gadi on specifically gaza and hamas and its role and then for any of you on just how to try to restore hope in a situation right now. if you want to start, gadi, on gaza. >> yeah. >> on hamas. >> oh, general. >> alan: -- allen or -- >> i think hamas should be part
of the solution. hamas is a deeply rooted movement in palestine. i have some palestinians that don't like hamas. there are a million people who live in gaza and are captives of hamas. in order to address this issue, i think first and foremost the entire palestinian region should be worked out somehow. that's one issue. second, you know, there are certain conditions that israel put a long time ago. the conditions of hamas, it can
be a partner. by the way, in the past we had relationship with hamas. we talked to the people. and when i was commander i would go to visit hamas leadership and i could do it today also. that's not a problem on a one-to-one level. that's not -- political issue. if you talk politics, disagreement, this is something else. so i think now we can start. we can start talking about gaza. gaza cannot be part of this system unless hamas acknowledges all those -- and accepts all of those conditions. if it does, it's not the same hamas. i guess they don't want to change their name, but they won't be able to change their name if they accept those conditions.
>> michele or john, do you want to -- >> no. in terms of the question of how to give hope, i think at this point actions speak louder than words. and, you know, i think there, you know, is a -- there are a set of actions, and maybe general rashef can speak about the work that he and his group have been doing, but there are a set of actions that could meaningfully improve both israel's security and the plight of the palestinians absent an agreement, but steps that could be taken to meaningfully improve people's situations that wouldn't -- would be still consistent with where you think an ultimate final status agreement, you know, could end up. so not unilateral steps that would make that agreement impossible or undermine its
likelihood but steps that could be consistent with where you would likely end up. and i think if -- i think for each side to take some of those steps would force the other to sort of say, well, h'm, actually maybe -- maybe there's a possibility of rebuilding some confidence. maybe there's a possibility of a change of heart or a change of situation. maybe we should, you know, keep a more open mind. so to me it's figuring out what is that set of actions that each side can take to start rebuilding some confidence in a way that's consistent with ultimately getting to an agreement, even if that's not a near-term possibility. >> and let me just add. i think the issue now is there's very little to no trust, and when trust begins to become a feature in the process and trust then generates the willingness of one or the other or both sides to take a risk, to take a
risk on the other, when that can occur, then we can move forward. and i would have folks in conversations during the time that i was doing this job say palestinians will never have the will or they just won't be committed and my response would be, how do you know that? how do you know that? how do you know that if on the horizon there is the real possibility for a two-state outcome where one state becomes sovereign, independent, stands on its own, how do you know they're not going to be more committed than you can possibly imagine to their own security which, by the way, works to the benefit of israel's security. now they're a sovereign state. now we want to be that island of stability in the region. how do you know they're not going to have the will? where have we seen people who are freshly independent have the will and the commitment to enforce their sovereignty and ultimately to be proud of who they are and demonstrate the will ultimately that we would
want to see? now nobody knows for sure. this goes to the trust and this also goes to the issue of risk. and this is the area that we have to explore. we have to explore the outer edges of trust and risk and do it with the kind of underwritten security plan that provides confidence to both sides that they can move forward in a way that builds trust and be willing to take risk so that both sides can be committed to each other. >> that's very well said. i think a perfect way to end this discussion. we're going to move on to our second panel, but i wanted to first thank michele, gadi, john. [ applause ]
we now take you live to the american annual jewish community forum being held in washington, d.c. this is the second day of a three-day conference. today's featured guest include u.s. national security vicar, susan rice. there are over 2600 participants from across the united states and 70 countries around the world at this forum. this is live coverage on cspan 3.